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Choose your themes with confidence. Plenty case studies included on how to create popular scrapbooking
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Layout Example 1.
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Layout Example 3.
Finding Your Scrapbooking Niche
Submitted : September 2004 by Cathy Gilmore
Finding new ideas for page layouts, styles, colouring can sometimes be hard, especially if you are
unaware of what type of scrapbook you would enjoy creating.
Knowing your own design style is important. It will help you conserve time, money and energy when scrapbooking.
By identifying your personal tastes, you focus on what you want to accomplish in your layouts, and avoid
distractions created by the hype, and promotional tactics of the scrapbooking industry. In short, by knowing
what you want and the things you like to work with, you scrapbook your way.
One great way to determine your own scrapbooking niche, or design style, is to look at the work of others.
Most Scrapbookers I know started out as "scraplifters." A scraplifter is one who sees a great technique or
layout design in another scrapper's album, in a magazine, or online and copies it using their own
materials and photos. An interesting thing happens when this approach is taken. I call it "niche discovery
and imprinting." The Scrapbooker start of by finding a layout that impresses her. The second step she
does is to duplicate the design using her own materials, ending up with a complete layout that she
learned from. The more she does this, the more her confidence grows, and the more apt she is to break
out and have enough confidence in finding her own design style.
Fashion and interior designers often give their buyers or clients an overall impression of the image or
design they wish to portray, to test their reaction first, long before the creation or design process
commences. They often do this through a collage method called "moods boards." A moods board may contain
cutouts from books or magazines, key words or phases, fabric swatches, music selections, and much more.
Any sensory item that gives the viewer an idea of the designer's direction are attached to the moods board.
In scrapbooking, you can use this same image-collage technique to determine your own design style niche which
will help you design and construct your layouts quickly and effectively.
Making Your Own Moods Board.
1. To begin, flip through some of your favorite magazines (general living,
fashion, home design, etc.). Find pictures that appeal to you or represent
your taste. They don't have to make sense or even fit together. You don't even
have to understand why a certain picture appeals to you. If it makes an
impression or elicits a positive response, tear it out.
2. Next, look for colors, embellishments, techniques, or any other sensory
items that please you. You may want to pick your favorite song or download
a sample of your favorite fonts. Be creative with what items you collect in
discovering your own design niche.
3. When you are through collecting, fasten each item onto an appropriately
sized piece of cardboard or a bulletin board in collage form.
4. You can do the same using three-ring binders to create themed collections.
For example if you see pictures etc on weddings, then label one binder
weddings and put all these related items in this binder. An idea is to have a
couple of blank pages at the beginning of the binders to jot down layout
ideas and notes that spring to mind or that you have seen in articles or
5. Finally, study your work. It's okay if your moods board doesn't feel quite
complete yet. Analyze what you have so far. What impressions or ideas do
the grouped items give you? Is there a general theme to your style? Can
you narrow or even pinpoint your idea of beauty?
Your moods board will become an individually tailored reference point when choosing from the many
artistic aspects of layout and album creation. You will be surprised at the affect your board
collections will have on your scrapbooking decisions. When you go shopping you will purchase items
you want to have in your scrapbook, not those that others think you need. Keep adding to the collection
when you find some new inspiration to incorporate into your work.
You may find that your collection will ultimately influence your eventual designer style, thereby
creating your own comfortable niche. To keep growing in scrapbooking skills, learn a new scrapping
technique taken from one of your favorite articles and incorporate it into a layout. Create a list
of desirable skills and set goals in many different areas to try in layouts. Through this process,
you are certain to find an approach to scrapbooking as individual as you are.
Designing a layout is all about preserving history through your own creativity, personal taste,
and style. Once you discover your own scrapbooking preferences, you will put a layout together
in your own personal way, saving yourself countless frustrated hours in trying to figure out
whether your layout should be a punch-woven design, asymmetrical or symmetrical, detailed or minimal,
be bold or subdued colouring etc, and whatever new is discovered daily.
Knowing your own style or niche is the key in placing you among successful well-seasoned scrapbooking
professionals. Those who say you must do it this way or do it that way are usually trying to be helpful,
so say thank you and start creating layouts to your hearts content in a style that you are comfortable with !!